For some reason the weather gods must like Columbus Day, because this was at least the second year in a row that the Clermonte Columbus Day Sports Car Rally got off to a great start from the Chocolate Factory in Red Hook under a beautiful blue sky and gorgeous autumn weather.The rally route took driver and navigator of at least three dozen newer and antique sports cars on pleasant 58 mile course along the backroads and farmland of Dutchess and Columbia Counties, to the surprise ending at organizer Marty Clarke’s Milan farm for a delicious catered outdoor lunch.
Marty and his crew, including his wife, Maria, and children all joined together to create another wonderful experience for all who participated.
Along the route, the navigators and to decipher clues from a booklet—written in poetry— in order to figure out the route that took us along fields of corn, forests, streams and waterfalls, and the most picturesque fall scenery.Along the route, questions had to be answered from the booklet. The keys to the answers could be on an old historic road marker, or on a church steeple or innocent looking house.
One question was: Greenport’s fine for thoughtlessness? The answer was on a road sign that warned, $1,000 for littering. Whoever could answer all the 22 questions correctly won a trophy and a free pass to next year’s rally. 5 teams answered all the questions, so the lucky winner, whose name was picked from a hat, was Susannah Renzi, from Rhinebeck.
The Rally was first run in 1997 and was created by Todd Scheff and his family. It started and ended at Scheff’s Kitchen.